Sunday, 26 April 2009

Finality comes in many forms

This week my Dad hit the paper in his own rite. His inquest was on Monday and the local paper published the findings the following day. Luckily a friend of mine text me to let me know it was going to be in - I really have got some lovely friends who really care about my feelings xxx

Following Dad's death, a report had to be sent to the coroners office to decide whether an inquest would be held. I would like to say at this point that as a family we have absolutely no question that the hospital did everything the possibly could for him. Their care, support, work was never in question for us. Its just that Dad's surgery was elective and he'd gone down for a second operation - there was always a 50/50 chance the coroner would say an inquest had to be held. Mum was supposed to be there to give a statement but a letter was sent to the judge and she was excused from the proceedings.

The findings were everything we expected them to be. The inquest heard that he'd had heart problems dating back to 1993, he had developed an aortic aneurysm for which he'd consented to have surgery even with the risks it carried. He was obese and had been a smoker most of his life, although had stopped some 3 years previously on the advice of his doctor. Dad was initially in surgery for seven and a half hours but when he was recovering in the intensive care unit he developed high blood pressure and started hemorrhaging. Doctor Brian Johnson and his team tried to stop the bleeding in a second operation. . . . .The inquest found that he died due to complications after surgery.

In all seems so cold and final when you see it written down, as we did in the paper but final it is and now after 5 long months we can have his final death certificate and Dad can now rest in peace knowing for sure everything possible was done for him.

It was Tammy's Dad's funeral on Friday. Visiting Haltemprice Crematorium is always hard as it brings back memories of my own Dads funeral but to see someone you love and care about hurting for the same reason is just so hard to bear. My heart really did go out to her and she did so well. We gave him a good send off and then hit the pub to have a few drinkies. We left Tam about 7:30 well on her way to having a 'wobbly night!'

We'd had such an eventful week we were looking forward to having friends over on Saturday night. Tammy and Al came over and Caz and Andy travelled from Harrogate for the weekend.

True to form Caz and I had arranged to go for a walk and we managed to do a 10 miler although not as quick as we'd hoped as we were talking most (well ALL) of the way round. But we weren't fazed as we'd got the miles in and in the process had a really good natter, put the world to rights and decided that we were going out the next morning for another 10!

7:30, a glorious Sunday morning heading out for a 10 mile walk! I couldn't have imagined that 3 months ago but off we went and had a great walk - up until 7.5 miles when I needed the loo!! We spent the last mile diverting home, as quickly as possible!! lol. But we still managed 18.5 over 2 days and believe me I have a blister to prove it. Inner soles have since been duly trimmed so hopefully I won't get a repeat of today's golf ball blister on my heel.

Weigh in week 15 ................................................................................ I lost 2lb


You won't be surprised to learn I'm finished the week on a complete high. I'm smiling, my legs ache and I have a nasty blister but I feel great!!!!

I'm looking forward to the charity night on Wednesday at Chambers and really hope I can help make it the fantastic night it deserves to be. Mum is polishing off her tiara - well lets face it she'll be like the queen! It's been that long since she has been out and everyone is so looking forward to seeing her. It is going to be very hard for her and also very emotional but I'm sure she will have a wonderful evening and as always we will be there by her side every step of the way.

Good night, god bless


Sunday, 19 April 2009

Week 15. friends will be friends

I think this is going to be a long blog not only for the fact that I missed last Sunday (Easter Sunday), but also so much has happened.

We had a fabulous Easter weekend with our good friends Mags and Rich and their 3 girls. They came over for an Easter Egg hunt, a hat making session, a sleepover and of course Sunday lunch.

Mags and I have been good friends since Junior school at the age of 8 - that is a scary thought! We progressed through school together and even got our first jobs in the same firm, Hider Food Imports Limited. Mags then went on to work in Managerial positions around the country before travelling the world with Rich and returning home to start their family. It was luck that our paths crossed again after about a 5 year gap when we were looking for someone to organise flowers for our wedding celebration. Mags proved herself to be a top class florist and did the occasion proud!

We've some wonderful times in the past and after finding each other again our families have become the best of friends and made many more treasured memories to hold onto. I'm sure we'll be around for each other for a long, long time to come. Thank you for your time, love, patience and help guys. xxx

After the Easter break we went away for our first caravaning trip of the season, to.........Thomas Land!! We took Benjamin last year and he absolutely adored it although he was just too small for a couple of the rides. In true Benjamin style he hadn't forgotten that he couldn't go on Cranky the Crane and Terence so they were top priority for him.

We met up with friends at the campsite - Steve, Helen and their lovely kids Beth and Farron. Unfortunately due to their commitments at home we only had the one evening and part of the next day with them but we had a fantastic time chatting and getting to know each other better.

Steve and I started singing on the circuit around the same time and although we knew each other to say hello too, it's only in the last 6 months or so we have got to know each other better. Steve and Helen have had their own problems and heartaches over that last past couple of years and yet the frank and open manner in which they have accepted and were able to discuss Helen's health situation had me feeling quite humbled and somewhat in awe!! They are a lovely family who look life in the eye and live for today. God knows they have to face up to more than most and I admire them for it. I'm pleased to say that they have just had some very good news from the hospital and I'm absolutely delighted for them, to the point where I was moved to tears when Steve rang me to let me know. I sincerely hope that we see them again very soon to celebrate and look forward to arranging our next camping trip together xxx.

Tammy is another friend of mine who I have only known for about 8 years yet it seems so much longer. Many people mistake us for sisters! When I was singing, Tammy was Manager of Springfield Club in Anlaby and again she was someone I only ever passed the time of day with and never really got into a conversation.

When I went out to work in Cyprus we kept in touch by letter and I was quite surprised when she asked if she could come out to see me for a couple of weeks on holiday. I looked forward to the company but was a little worried that we not previously spent any length of time together. I need not have worried at all because from the moment her plane landed to this present day we have got on like a house on fire. We've been pretty inseparable, have been the best of friends and I can honestly say that I don't think we've ever stopped talking!

She and Al celebrated their 1st year together last weekend and it's been wonderful to be able to share in their happiness and again we've have some wonderful memories to treasure. Both Tammy and Al were a godsend to me when Dad died and they helped me through some very low times. It's time to reciprocate now as I had the dreaded text from Tam in the early hours of Friday morning to let me know that her dad had died.

I will be as strong for Tammy as she was for me - the only advantage I have is I am 5 months on and have a clear knowledge of how she is feeling at this moment in time. There will be lots of tears and hopefully lots of smiles; lots of reminiscing and hopefully lots of laughter too. All my love and thoughts are with you Tam xxx

Weigh in for the last 2 weeks has seen me maintain. I'm not worried as I have had a wonderful Easter Break and a very enjoyable few days away in the caravan. I just hope I can get 2lb off this week to get to my 2 1/2 stone mark. Benjamin is back at school now so we can get out walking again. We've only managed to get out the odd time over the last couple of weeks with mum still recuperating from her op. She is slowly getting better and she's even managed to come down a couple of times which is wonderful. She is also hoping to come to the charity night next week.

Over the last week or so I have come to realise that life really is about living and enjoying it. I'm lucky - I'm breathing, I'm feeling healthy, I'm getting fit and I'm proud to be me. I also like to think I'm a nice person to be with. True friends are around not only for the good times but also for the bad times too! I've spent too long worrying about why some people don't talk to me or appear to dislike me, but I have convinced myself that it is their loss not mine. I have some wonderful friends old and new who I enjoy being with immensely. I have friends who I don't hear from for a while but I know they are there - the odd phone call or text tells me that! Thank you all for being there when I need you. xxx

Hopefully I should be back on track and posting my blog on a Sunday again from next week. I must apologise to Mum who has been chivying me to get it posted as she has been looking every day for her regular Sunday read!
Until the next blog, God bless

Monday, 6 April 2009

Week 13. Surely our luck will turn

On Wednesday we had yet another sad day. Oscar, our 7 year old Great Dane passed away suddenly. He went missing for a while in the garden and Ray went out to find him and returned with a very sorry looking and distressed dog. His abdomen was distended to such an extent that we contacted the vet and took him to the surgery straight away. He had immediate surgery for a twisted stomach and they also had to remove his spleen which was badly damaged and give him a blood transfusion. When the vet rang us at 10pm that evening he was holding his own but at around 8:30 in the morning he sadly died.
They always say dogs are like family members. Well Oscar certainly was: not only for his size but for his personality. He was a wonderful dog with great character. Benjamin absolutely adored him and I remember when we first brought him home from the hospital weighing just over 4lb, Oscar's head was far bigger than our little premmy baby. We used to joke that Oscar would come in with 2 slices of bread in his mouth for a Benji sandwich! A bond was formed on that day! We've also had many infant visitors to our home who have laid with Oscar on his bed, using him as a sofa. Sleep tight old man xxx
We were due to go away on Thursday to Blackpool and decided that it would do us the world of good to get away for a couple of days. We enjoyed the break but lets just say our trip was 'interesting!'. We took our trainers though and managed a 6.5 mile walk to Blackpool prom and back before breakfast on Friday followed by an aqua aerobics class afterwards!!

Mum also came out of hospital on Friday although if I'm honest, I'm not sure she should have come out so soon. She still really isn't well so I've been staying with her at her house since I got home. We've had the Doctor out to her and her wound is infected so now she is on more antibiotics! Bless her she'll be rattling soon with the amount of tablets she's taking.

At weigh in this week I lost another 3lb!

I'm thrilled with it as I haven't been filling in a food diary since Wednesday - I have just been conscious of what I'm eating and doing. It's obviously worked and I can't ask any more than that really at this point.

It was also lovely when we went away as everyone had noticed my weight loss and commented on how well I looked. Its nice to start noticing it yourself but when other people do it really does give you a boost and makes you feel good about yourself and life. Lets face it I need something to make me smile at the moment!! Thank you all xxx